Learning Word Meanings from Teachers’ Repeated Story Read-Aloud in EFL Primary Classrooms

  •  Lu-Chun Lin    


This study used a quasi-experimental design to determine the effects of teachers’ story read-aloud on EFL elementary school students’ word learning outcomes. It specifically examined whether the word learning was enhanced by teachers’ repeated story read-aloud and word-meaning explanations and further determined whether the learning outcomes were related to children’s English proficiency. Two native English-speaking teachers read a story to their fourth-grade classes four times. The results showed that increasing frequency of story read-aloud yielded greater word-learning gains across time. The EFL children, on average, learned approximately half of the target words by the third read-aloud. While both high- and low-proficiency groups showed significant vocabulary gains with the frequency of teachers’ read-aloud, the high-proficiency children consistently outperformed their low-proficiency peers, especially on the L1 meaning-matching vocabulary test. The overall findings were quite encouraging and showed empirical evidence that teachers’ repeated story read-aloud can be an effective way to facilitate elementary school children’s word learning in a context where English is a foreign language.

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